10 easy ways to add math twists to everyday family activities

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Parents and guardians! Did you know that much of your children’s learning takes place at home with your help? Your little one might not be enrolled in school yet, but you don’t have to wait until then to start having fun together while they learn math early; and if they are, they may need to practice the concepts they learn in class at home. But don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think. To keep learning in a fun and light way amid the shuffle of everyday life, you don’t need to plan much beyond your daily to-do list. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of unexpected ways to incorporate math into your daily activities, including laundry, lunchtime, and cleaning.

1. Build large piles of dirty laundry. Involve your children in sorting dirty laundry into light and dark piles before washing them. Make it a game by having the kids compete and see who can sort the fastest. Bonus points for creating the biggest pile of laundry! The winner can knock it down! Watch this video to see how laundry can help kids learn sorting and collecting.

2. Make Marie Kondo proud. Once the wash is finished, start the race again! But this time race to separate all the clothes by type: tops in one pile, socks and underwear in another, and stockings in another. Then, slow down as you teach kids to carefully fold their clothes – a skill that will definitely come in handy in the future!

3. Get Snacky. Need some food? Take small snacks like apple slices, baby carrots, and small crackers and arrange them to create fun culinary sights, like the pastoral scene seen here. Remember to count each food as you place it. Get more ideas here. Do you feel extra? Find out how to make a very special sandwich that kids can also use to play with shapes here.

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4. Configure it. Before meals at the table, have your children help you set the table, as this family does in this video, counting the number of each item they need according to the number of family members. You can say things like, “You, me and Grandma are having lunch today. How many plates will we need? Or “If daddy and your sister had lunch with us, how many plates and cups would we need then?” If your little one is learning to count, remember to correct him gently if he is wrong. They will eventually have it!

5. Pack the perfect picnic. Besides being delicious, did you know that sandwiches are great for kids to practice pattern recognition? Before you go, have your child help you make sandwiches to go. As you prepare them together, show them how the ingredients go: bread, mayo, cheese, ham and bread, over and over again! If you need something sweet for your picnic, you can practice patterning with fruit skewers as well!

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6. Days of our lives. Have you ever realized that every day of our life follows the same pattern? Sunrise turns to day, sunset turns to night and it repeats. Help your children notice the pattern by noticing these moments each day as they occur in a week. Your children can draw small pictures of every moment every day on a sheet of paper – the pattern will eventually appear! Get more ideas on how to find patterns all over here.

7. Perfect pizza. My old math teacher was right: the pizza is perfect. Why? Look at all these shapes! It’s a giant, cheesy circle that’s cut into triangles (sometimes squares, if you’re feeding a large crowd) that are filled with pepperoni circles, sausage spheres, ham rectangles, and more! Help the kids notice all of these lovely shapes and name them together as you take each delicious bite (although let’s be honest, in a perfect world, triangular pizza slices are filled with pineapple triangles and pineapple triangles. ham rectangles). Check out the shapes here.

8. Show your course. From round crackers and rectangular cereal boxes to spherical oranges, square bread slices and triangular tortilla chips, the things we buy at the supermarket come in all shapes and sizes! Once home, have the children call them when they see them while they help you put away all your purchases. Tip: Have them trace the edges of the item shapes with their fingers like this mom does in this video. This will help them strengthen the appearance of the shape.

9. Clean the house. You might think it’s a chore, but hey, if math can make laundry fun, how can we not pick up our things? Help children become familiar with the location and position words that are key to success in math in school – such as above, beside, behind, etc. Set up different baskets or baskets for their toys around the room and using place and position words tell them to throw away (or just place, for more delicate toys) the toys that belong to each. For example, you can say, “Shoot that toy car so it lands in the basket behind the coffee table,” “This stuffed bunny goes into the basket next to your chair.” Can you land it there? Or “Which basket does this Lego go in? Tell me using the words just mentioned.” Find more ideas on what to say here.

10. Dance like only your kids are watching. Ok, this isn’t really a daily activity, but it should be! Using this spinning top activity as a base, create your own funky dance by listening to your family’s favorite tunes and doing the moves that land on the spinning top together. You can also use the roulette wheel to decide which moves you like best and possibly create a fun pattern out of it.

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Either way, remember that you know more than you think and that you are a great teacher for your little ones. A little math every day makes a difference!


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